John Phillips Downs.

History of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) online

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jjrisi-, and still later he became prominent in the politi-
r:il life of Curry. In politics, he is a member of the
Kei'ublic-m ii.arty. In the local administration, he has
for many years been town clerk, supervisor and post-
master. Upon his retirement from the postmastership,
Mrs. Toinpkins passed the civil service examination



BIOGRAPHICAL



S13



and succeeded her husband in the office. For a number
of years Mr. Tompkins held membership in the local
grange. He is also identified with the Masonic order.
On Jan. 24. 1S94, Mr. Tompkins married, at Gerry,
Blanche Harris, who was born in Ellicott, Chautauqua
county, N. Y., May 20, 1874, daughter of Eugene D.
and Ophelia (Sears) Harris, and a descendant of an
old Chautauqua county family. To Mr. and Mrs.
Tompkins has been born one child. Hubert D., July 4,
1898; educated in the district school at Gerry and
Jamestown High School; during the World war was in
training at Geneva, N. Y., at the Students' Army
Training Camps. Mr. and Mrs. Tompkins took active
part in many local movements of patriotic purport, and
they subscribed unstintedly to the several funds pro-
moted to meet the needs of the war, in its many phases.
They indefatigably labored for the cause in the phase of
the national effort allotted to patriotic men and women
for execution, and in cheering the young soldiers of
the district upon their departure, in making articles for
their comfort and well being while they were away, and
in properly welcoming them upon their return home.



CHARLES JOHN ANDERSON obtained his edu-
cation and his training in the business that has formed
the basis of his signal success in his native Sweden.
He came to the United States as a young man of
eighteen years, in 1880, and in the time intervening has
come to occupy an important place in the business
and industrial interests of Western New York.

Charles John Anderson was born in Frodenge, Kal-
mer Lan, Sweden, June 21, 1862, son of Eric and
Frederica (Jones) Anderson. Eric Anderson came
to the United States in 1871, and for a short time
stopped at Jamestown, N. Y., soon proceeding to
Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he became a foreman in a
coal mine. From Wilkes-Barre he went to Kinzua,
Pa., and there was employed as railroad foreman
in charge of 175 men. Subsequently, he engaged in
farming in Warren county, Pa., and died there at the
age of si.xty-three years. Upon coming to the United
States, Eric Anderson left his family in Sweden. In
1880, his son, Charles J., followed him to this country,
locating in Jamestown, N. Y., and the following year
he sent for his brother, August L. Two years later,
in 1883, the mother and two daughters of the family
crossed the Atlantic and joined Eric Anderson on
his farm at Sugar Grove, Warren county, Pa.

Charles J. Anderson attended school and learned the
shoemaker's trade in Sweden, and for two and one-
half years after settling in Jamestown, N. Y., he re-
paired, made, and sold shoes in a little shop owned
by him. At the end of this time, forming a partnership
with C. W. Gripp, he opened a shoe store on East
Second street, near the site of his present store. Dur-
ing his three 3'ears' partnership with Mr. Gripp they
moved their business to No. 103 East Second street,
one of his present locations, and after purchasing Mr.
Gripp's interest he continued to conduct the enterprise
alone. Mr. Anderson extended his shoe store interests,
at one time owning and operating five stores, including
establishments in Jamestown, Falconer and Mayville,
N. Y., and Bradford and Warren, Pa. Disposing of



all excepting his Jamestown store, this was his sole
connection in this line until 1906. when he purchased
another store. No. 223 North Main street. Both of
these Jamestown stores are popularly patronized, and
the lines carried uphold the reputation for reliability
built up through forty years of shoe experience.

In the development of the industrial and the business
life of the locality, Mr. Anderson has taken active part,
and has acquired holdings in varied lines. He is
president of the Elite Furniture Company of James-
town, was the "organizer and now financially interested
in the Jamestown Car Parts Company, is a director of
the Johanson & Hultberg Tool Company of War-
ren, of the United Oil & Gas Company, of War-
ren, Pa., and the Jamestown Metal Desk Company.
Mr. Anderson also conducts a steamship ticket agency
in Jamestown, representing several trans-Atlantic
lines, including the Swedish-American, Scandinavian-
American, Norwegian-American, White Star, Cunard,
Anchor and International Mercantile Marine companies.
He is a member of the New York State Shoe Dealers'
Association, and once was a director in that organiza-
tion. Mr. Anderson is a Republican in political faith,
and for several terms filled the post of supervisor. His
fraternal organizations are the Benevolent and Protec-
tive Order of Elks, Loyal Order of Moose, the Knights
of Pythias, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
His club is the Norden of Jamestown. He has long
been a devoted member of the First Swedish Lutheran
Church of Jamestown, and for twelve years served
the congregation as trustee.

Charles John Anderson married, April 8, 1886, Louise
Lawson, of Busti, N. Y., daughter of John Lawson.
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of a daughter,
Mabel A.

Mr. Anderson has made for himself a responsible
position in the business life of Jamestown. His repu-
tation for uprightness and dependability has been
earned through years of earnest effort and strict ad-
herence to customs of fair dealing. His many connec-
tions require a large share of his time, but when oppor ■
tunity offers he enjoys out-of-door recreation, particu-
larly fishing. There are few departments of the life
of his city to which he has not contributed something
of influence and of helpfulness.



COLUMBUS C. HAZARD— The town of Ellery,

Chautauqua county, N. Y., was Mr. Hazard's birth-
place and here he has spent his long and useful life.
He is one of Ellery's prosperous and contented farm-
ers, a man who has borne his share of community
responsibility and faithfully performed every trust re-
posed in him. He is a son of Caleb and Hannah
(Newbury) Hazard, and grandson of Sylvester and
Anna Hazard. Sylvester Hazard, the pioneer in Chau-
tauqua county, was a farmer in Delaware county,
and he and his wife came here with some of their
children, others being born in Chautauqua county.
Their children were: Caleb, Mary, Lucy, David, Arnold,
Aldrich, Phoebe, Henry, Mercy, Robertson, Betsey,
William. Caleb Hazard, the eldest son and father
of Columbus C. Hazard, was born in 1807, and came
with his parents to Chautauqua county in 1818. He



514



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



was a carpenter and joiner in early lite, but later be-
came a farmer. He was prominent in local affairs, and
at one time served his town as highway commissioner.
Caleb Hazard and his wife were the parents of the
following children: Laura A., Algernon D., Columbus
C. and Americus D.

Columbus C. Hazard was born in the town of EUery,
Chautauqua county. X. V.. June 17, 1S50. He attended
the district school in his youth and grew to manhood
on the home farm. When the time came to choose
his own occupation he continued in the same line, and
his business life has been mainly spent in farming. In
politics a Republican, Mr. Hazard served as highway
commissioner for one term of two years, and for about
twelve years has been assessor for the town of EUery,
his term not expiring until 1923. This endorsement of
his fairness and good judgment coming from his neigh-
bors and friends of a lifetime is a splendid testimonial.
The only limit to his tenure of office will be his physical
ability to perform the duties pertaining thereto, so
well has he performed these duties in the past. Early
in its histop.-. Mr. Hazard became a member of Ellery
Grange, Xo. 353. Patrons of Husbandry, and has for
manv years been one of its leading members. He has
filled all the chairs, including that of master, holding
that office for three years. For about fourteen years
he has been a director of the Patrons Fire Relief As-
sociation and is still serving in that capacity. He is
also a past worthy grand of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, and afliliates with the Chautauqua
County Branch of the Xew York State Farm Bureau.

Mr. Hazard married, Sept. 10, 1877. Eliza Rathbun,
born March S. 1S59, near Willoughby, Ohio; died Feb.

3, 1020. in Ellery: daughter of John B. and Asenath
Rathbun. Mr. and Mrs. Hazard are the parents of four
children: i. Ivah C, born April 13, 1880; married
Elton Mans, of Ellery; children: Harold, Jessie and
Izora. 2. Bessie Belle, born Oct. 14, 1883, died at the
age of eight and one-half years. 3. C. Mabel, born
Aug. 9, 1885; married Henry Wilson, of Ellery; chil-
dren: Mildred and Flossy. 4. Cassius C, born April
29. 1895; he enlisted in the United States army, Xov.

4. 1917, and was assigned to the mechanical repair de-
partment: he was sent overseas with the .Vmerican
Expeditionary Forces, and most of his service abroad
was with the ,\mcrican postoffice at Xevers, France;
he was honorably discharged in March, iqiq, and re-
turned to his home: he married Ruby Brown, of
Falconer.



THOMAS ROBERT WRIGHT, who was for a
grc.-it many years one of the iiopular and inlluential
farmers -A Mayvillc, N. Y., and whose death at this
place was felt as a severe loss to the entire community,
was a son of Fiobert Wright, who was born in Grant-
ham, Lincolnshire, England, Xov. 23, 1835. Robert
Wright resided at his native birthplace until the death
of his mother and then went to live with his aunt in
London, r'-maining there for a period of two years.
He later wnt to .Antwerp, Belgium, and from there
misrrated to this country with his father in 18.53, c""'-
inff at once to Spring Brrxik, Eric county. Here they
remained lor about six years and in 1859 moved to
Wcitficld. r<oI>ert Wright married, Sept. 6, 1866,



Mahala Sarah Dibble, and of this marriage one child
was born, Thomas Robert Wright, with whose career
we are here especially concerned. Robert Wright's
death occurred at his home in Portland, Feb. 15, 1910.

Thomas Robert Wright, son of Robert and Mahala
Sarah (.Dibble) Wright, was born at Westfield, April
37, 1S69, and resided in this vicinity for practically his
entire life. For his education he attended the West-
field L'nion School and Academy and then engaged in
the occupation of farming with' his father, which they
botli carried on successfully, their farm being one of
the finest in the region, both having cultivated it to
perfection, making it second to none in the region. At
the death of the elder man, Mr. Wright became the
sole possessor of the old homestead and continued his
operations.

Mr. Wright married, Dec. 30, 1903, Emma I. Meade,
who survives him with their three children: Josephine
C, John Robert, and James Thomas. An extract from
the local press, given below, and written at the time
of Mr. Wright's death by George S. Kent, an intimate
friend of Mr. Wright's, well shows the character of,
the man and the esteem in which he was held through-
out the entire region.

Born of a hardy and worthy ancestry that has helped
develop this section of Chautauqua county and given
to us several generations that represent our best type
of character and citizenship. As a lifelong friend and
neighbor I can truthfully say that his life represents
the fulfillment of good purposes and principles, abso-
lute fairness in his business relations with all, and a
thoughtful kindness of purpose and action that en-
deared him to his neighbors, friends, and all who
knew him in the everyday walks of life. With a quiet,
unassuming manner, he met the duties and hardships
of life with a devotion, energy and perseverenoe that
knew no failure. Circumstances from his youth up
threw unusual responsibilities upon him and he met
them bravely and uncomplainingly. He was unaggres-
sive In his nature, yet firm in his convictions of right
or wrong. His creed seemed to be as well represented
by the Golden Rule and its fulfillment as the best of
us .succeed in approximating in this life. As a friend
from his childhood I knew of no word of his that ever
left a sting or an unpleasant memory. Kindness and
consideration were preeminently a part of his nature.
It seems sad. indeed, that so worthy a life should be
cut off at the zenith of its usefulness. • * • His love
and care for his mother, who survives him. and who
lived with him. showed the true nobility of his nature,
and is a worthier monument to his memory than sor-
rowing words can here express.



MRS. VIOLA T. (HUNTINGTON) SPRAGUE,

a well known resident of Ellington, Chautauqua county,
X. Y.. where she is now residing, was born at Ran-
(lolpli. X. Y., Feb. 3, 1S51, a daughter of Wesley and
Nancy (Stephenson) Huntington, old and highly re-
spected residents of that place. Mrs. Sprague as a
child attended the local public schools of Randolph,
where she established a fine record as a student. After
completing her studies, she opened a dressmaking es-
taMi^hmeiit in that place, in which enterprise she met
with a notable ilcgrce of success, and which she fol-
lowcil for several years, her customers numbering
many from among tlie wealthy residents of the town.
About the year 1S76 she removed to Ellington and has
becnnic one of the well known women of this town.
She is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry, the
Literary Society, the Methodist Aid Society, and is
also a member of the Methodist church in Ellington.
She was united in marriage, Oct. 12, 187G, at Filing-



BIOGRAPHICAL



515



ton, with Titus Sprague, a prominent agriculturist of
Ellington, a son of Josiah and Elizabeth (Miles)
Sprague, of Ellington. Mr. Sprague married (first)
Melissa Brown, and by this marriage there were three
children: Charles and Edna, died young; and Elva,
born March 15, 1870, became the wife of Lee Dixon, a
woolen manufacturer of Philadelphia. Children of
Mr. Sprague by his second marriage; .Archie, born
Nov. 6, 1877, now connected with the engineering de-
partment of the Brooks Locomotive Company of
Philadelphia; Arlie, born Feb. 4, 1882, died Jan. 13,
1920, who was the wife of Herbert Gates, a well known
farmer of Ellington; Harry, born July 31, 1885, now
superintendent of public schools at Summit, N. J.



JOHN A. ECKMAN, president of the Jamestown

Metal Desk Company, Inc., is a man of enterprise and
ability, quick to see and grasp business opportunities,
practical and progressive in his methods, conscientious
in the performance of business transactions, hence the
success he has achieved, ranking among the reliable
and successful business men of Jamestown, and among
the many self-made men of Chautauqua county.

John A. Eckman was born in Sweden, April 2, 1868,
son of Nels P. and Sophia (Johnson) Eckman, the
latter now deceased, who emigrated to this country
when their sons, John A. and Charles L., were very
young. The family settled in Titusville, Pa., where the
father obtained employment in the refinery department
of the Standard Oil Company, being made foreman, a
position he retained for twenty-five years. He was a
most skillful work-man, and the company had such con-
fidence in his ability that they sent him to Buffalo to
assist in the construction of a refinery there in 1882. His
knowledge of the subject covered all necessary points and
made him a valuable man to the company. In later
years when his son, John A., had become a successful
business man, he left the Standard Oil people and be-
came the engineer at the furniture factory of his sons.

John A. Eckman received his education at the grammar
and high schools in Titusville, and began his business
career by securing employment in the refinery depart-
ment of the Standard Oil Company in Titusville. He
remained with them for three years, having charge of
a number of men who did rebuilding at one of their re-
fineries. His next employment was in a furniture
factory in the same city, where he gained a practical
knowledge of all the details of manufacture, this being
of great benefit to him in his subsequent career. In
1900, Mr. Eckman and his brother, Charles L. Eckman,
bought out the furniture factory of Breed & Johnson,
the oldest furniture building concern in Jamestown,
which they have conducted successfully for many years
under the firm name of The Eckman Furniture Com-
pan\'. Early in 1920, John A. Eckman, realizing that
metal was rapidly taking the place of wood in the man-
ufacture of commercial furniture, concluded to devote
his attention to the manufacture of metal office furni-
ture, so he, with others, organized the Jamestown Metal
Desk Company, Inc., of which he has since served in
the capacity of president.

In addition to the extensive business interest men-
tioned above, Mr. Eckman is the possessor of a natural
talent for music, which would have asserted itself even



if he had not had the advantages of studying under the
best masters in the country. In order to gratify the
wish of his mother, who was a lover of good music,
John A. Eckman devoted considerable time to the study
of it, entering the Conservatory of Music at Rock
Island, 111., where he took up the study of harmony, the
theory and history of music, the mastery of both organ
and piano playing, and also studying vocal music, re-
maining at the conservatory for two years. He then
accepted a jiosition as organist of the First Lutheran
Church of Jamestown, and gave private lessons in organ
and piano playing for nineteen years, also making a
specialty of pipe organ and voice culture. For five years
he made periodic trips to Chicago, 111., to perfect himself
in all branches of his art at the Chicago Musical Col-
lege. In 1904, Mr. Eckman established the Eckman
Music Store, and as the business immediately became
a success, it occupied more and more of Mr. Eckman's
time, so he gradually gave up teaching and devoted him-
self exclusively to the upbuilding of the largest music
and supply house between Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Since
becoming interested in the Jamestown Metal Desk Com-
pany, he has disposed of his musical supply business,
thus giving all his time to the former.

The following is an extract from an article on the
Swedish people of Jamestown, N. Y. ;

One would be at fault not to mention John A. Eck-
man In this connection. Prom the year when he
located here (1890) and became organist and choir-
ma.ster in the Fir.st Lutheran Church, he has con-
tributed in an eminent degree to the high class and
excellence of music rendered In Jamestown. Beside.s
what he did ex-offlcio in the church, he started in
with organizing and directing the Chautauqua Maen-
nerchor, which for some years appeared with suc-
cess on many public occasions. Large choruses or
choral unions sought him out as a leader. His most
pretentions achievement alone; these lines was. maybe.
the cantata which he composed in 1901. and brought
out at the dedication of the grand organ of the First
Lutheran Church.

The Orpheus and the Aeolian quartetts were under
his leadership about that time. Under his direction
the Swedish Glee Club made so great a proeress that
they, in 1S99, dared to invite the American Union of
Swedish Singers to hold their national conclave here
two years later. At that event John A. Eckman was
leader of the united local singers.

Mr. Eckman is president of the Eckman Furniture
Company and director of the Liberty National Bank,
member of the Chamber of Commerce of Jamestown, of
the Order of Eagles, and of the Norden Club, of which
he was secretary for the first four years after its
organization. Mr. Eckman is not actively interested in
politics, but votes the Republican ticket. He is a mem-
ber of Holy Trinity English Lutheran Church, as is also
his wife, and he is serving as a member of the council of
the church.

In Frankfort, Mich., Oct. 30, 1906, John A. Eckman
married Edvena Johnston, a resident of Frankfort,
daughter of Nels A. and Sophia (Peterson) Johnston.



CLAYBURN JAMES CULVER, well known mer-
chant of Ellery, Chautauqua county, N. Y., and one of
the youngest business men in the county, is a member
of a family well known in the life of the community, and
a son of James and Grace (Hayes) Culver, the former
for many years engaged in business at Ellery.

Clayburn James Culver was born in Ellery, April 6,
1892, and as a lad attended the public schools of his



5i6



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



native place, gaining there an excellent general educa-
tion. He also attended the Jamestown High School and
Jamestown Business College, \\hen a mere youth he be-
gan to show the sense of practical affairs that has since
characterized his career, and it was shortly after com-
pleting his studies that he entered the business world by
the opening of a mercantile establishment at Ellery. From
the outset his venture prospered, and he is now the pro-
prietor of a very successful general store, which enjoys
a large patronage in the surrounding communities. He
has made it his policy since beginning his business to
exhibit the strictest integrity in all his dealings and to
provide his patrons with the best possible service and
the highest grade of goods on the market. His reputa-
tion has grown constantly in consequence, and he now
enjoys the complete trust and confidence of the com-
munity-at-large. In politics, he is a Democrat, and in
lOiSioiQ he was town clerk in Ellery. He is a notary pub-
lic, and he has the confidence of his townspeople in the
arrangements of many important legal matters requiring
a seal. During the World War he served on all the
committees for the Liberty Loans, Red Cross and United
War Work Service. He is also prominent in social and
fraternal circles at Eller\', and is a member of Sylvan
Lodge. Xo. 303, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and
Bemus Point Lodge. No. 585, Independent Order of Odd
Fellows. In his religious belief Mr. Culver is a Bap-
tist, and he and the members of his family attend the
Ellery church of that denomination.

Clayburn James Culver was united in marriage, April
28, 1914. at Mayville, N. Y., with Doris M. Benson, a
native of Jamestown, N. Y., born Aug. 27, 1894, a daugh-
ter of Junius H. and Mary A. (O'Brian) Benson, the
former a town clerk of Ellery for twelve years. Two
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Culver, as fol-
lows : Dorothy Grace, born May 23, 1916, and Catherine
Lucille, born May 4, 1918. Mrs. Culver is prominent in
local affairs in Ellery and is serving as town clerk, being
elected to this position and taking office Jan. i, 1920.
Previous to this she was deputy town clerk for several
years. She is a member of Sunset Rebekah Lodge at
Bemus Point, and Mecca Chapter of the Eastern Star
at Jamestown.



JAMES HUNT PRENDERGAST— There is no

name so prominently connected with the city of James-
town, Chautauqua county, N. Y., as that of Prendergast,
for it was from James Prendergast, the founder alike
of this flourishing community and of the well known
family in the region, that it derives its appellation.

(I) The immigrant ancestor of the Prendergasts in
America was William Prendergast, a native of Ireland,
born in the town of Waterford, Feb. 2, 1737, and who
came to this country as a young man and, after many
wanderings in New York State and other parts of the
CT)lonies, eventually settled in the town of Chautauqua,
where his death occurred, Feb. 14, 181 1. He was a son
of Thomas and Mary Prendergast, highly respected citi-
zens of Waterford, of which place they were lifelong
residents, and displayed in his own person the strong
and hardy virtues so characteristic of the race from
which he came. Upon coming to America, William
Prendergast settled at Pawling, Dutchess county. N. Y.,
where he was engaged in the occupation of farming for



many years. He continued to reside at Pawling until
he had attained an advanced age, when he determined
once more to renew his travels and seek a new home in
the great western wilderness, then so little known to
any but the most hardy pioneers. The courage and
hardihood of tliis old gentleman, then considerably past
the span of three score years and ten allotted to human
life, in thus venturing forth into the inhospitable wilds,
was remarkable enough, but even more so is the fact
that he not only successfully accomplished his quest but
took with him his entire family, save a few members,
and himself led the expedition in its wanderings which



Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 54 of 101)